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Input on Possible Solar Setup for FWC Raven

solar FWC Raven 100W

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#11 ckent323

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 11:18 PM

portermoab,

 

Take a look at the file I posted above.  You will save weight and dollars if you just go with a single 200W or a single 300W or 320W panel.

Regards,

 

Craig


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#12 rando

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 12:46 AM

portermoab,

 

Take a look at the file I posted above.  You will save weight and dollars if you just go with a single 200W or a single 300W or 320W panel.

Regards,

 

Craig

 

I am not disagreeing with the analysis - but most of us with roof vents (including the OP) can't fit a 300 or 320W panel on the roof, thus one or more smaller panels.


Edited by rando, 15 December 2020 - 12:47 AM.

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#13 ckent323

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 02:59 AM

The spreadsheet lists the dimensions of all the Renogy panels.

I note that the largest panel is 39.5" x 66".  I have two fantastic fan vents on the roof of our FWC Keystone camper and even the largest panel would comfortably fit with its length sideways (width of the camper) between the two vents. or between the front of the camper and the front vent (the distance from the front edge to the front vent is greater than the back vent to the back edge on the roof of our camper but certainly the 200W panel would fit in the back.

Admittedly our FWC Keystone is a bit longer than all other available FWC models.  I have seen the following measurements for a 2012 Hawk with two roof vents:

   27.5" vent lid to vent lid

   39"   vent lid to rear camper edge

   27"    vent lid to front camper edge.

   https://www.wanderth...-panel-install/

 

Clearly the 175W or 200W panel will fit between the vents on that Hawk and even the largest panels might barely fit between the rear edge and the rear vent (assuming the measurements are correct).

 

However, I do not know how much the vent placement varies with interior configuration (i.e dinette, rollover couch etc) or even build to build of the same configuration so it would be wise to measure carefully first!   My guess is that the back vent placement varies more than the front depending on "kitchen" layout, but I am not actually sure of that..

 

The Grandby is a bit larger than the Hawk so my guess is that it is likely a 200W Renogy panel would fit between the two roof vents and maybe even the 300W or 320W panels.  If not there, then I am pretty sure there would be room for any of the panels either in front of the front vent or behind the back vent based on the Hawk measurements.

 

I agree that the smaller FWC models may not have enough roof area for large solar panels, particularly if they have two roof vents.

Edit:  Looking back at the initial post I see the camper is a Raven model.  I don't know if it has one or two vents and what the vent spacing are.  I checked the FWC website and I see no dimensional information for roof vent locations.   

I hope this info is helpful to folks.

 

Craig


Edited by ckent323, 15 December 2020 - 07:39 AM.

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#14 portermoab

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 07:25 PM

For the brain trust, a Raven roof with two vents measures out at 26" from front vent to front of camper, 28" between vents, and 32" from rear vent to rear of camper.


Edited by portermoab, 15 December 2020 - 07:26 PM.

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#15 ckent323

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 08:12 PM

If some folks will send measurements for other campers with two vents I will add the measurements to my spreadsheet and post it.

 

So far I have measurements for a Raven, a 2012 Hawk and a 2007 Keystone.  The Keystone has a rollover couch.  I do not know about the interior layout of the Raven and Hawk and how interior layout may or may not influence vent location.
 

Edit:  I looked at dimensions for LG, Panasonic, Sun Power and REC Solar 360/370 watt panels (all residential type).  While the number of cells vary they are all between 40 and 43 pounds and about 66.5" to 68" long x 40" to 41" wide x 1.5" thick.

I will add this info to the spreadsheet along with camper dimensional info after some is posted.

 

Portermoab,

Looks to me like you can get a 175 W or 200 W Renogy panel between the vents.  Maybe other panel manufacturers have 200 W or 300 W panels with different widths and weights.  I don't know.



Here is an updated version (second page has camper dimensional info):

Attached Files


Edited by ckent323, 15 December 2020 - 10:15 PM.

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#16 portermoab

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 08:45 PM

Craig- for reference it's a 2019 Raven with a side rollover couch.


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#17 Wallowa

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Posted 16 December 2020 - 10:53 PM

Craig,

 

Couple of points...if, like us, you purchased a Zamp 160w panel that was mounted between the vents on a Hawk, then a second panel is the only option to adding watts [only 37 inches between vents] without discarding a functional panel.

 

The cost of a new panel Zamp 170w panel with hardware was $426; I am currently mounting that panel to the rear of my back vent.

 

Lastly, the 170w weighs about 24 lbs and your 320w panel weighs about 40.8 lbs....so yes, with our two panels the weight is more than a single panel by about 6 pounds.  48lbs for 330w vs 42lbs for 320w.

 

The weight however is distributed more evenly with the two panels...perhaps this is irrelevant in raising or lower the top... by adding the rear panel I am going from 30lb struts to 40lb rear struts...

 

Oh, my new back Zamp 170w panel can be tilted up to 45 degrees; not sure when this will really help, but it is another arrow in the quiver.

 

Phil


Edited by Wallowa, 16 December 2020 - 11:03 PM.

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#18 portermoab

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 03:18 AM

In regard to keeping it light, I found this 100w "compact" panel by HQST that they say weighs in at 9.92 lbs. It's also only 80 bucks. https://hqsolarpower...compact-design/

 

What's interesting is that a lot of folks say that HQST are virtually identical to the Renogy panels (they show the same specs and even ship from what appears to be the same location), but the "same" panel on Renogy's website shows it at 14.3 lbs (https://www.renogy.c...compact-design/).

 

They look identical, so it's hard to know why Renogy would indicate more than 4 pounds heavier.


Edited by portermoab, 17 December 2020 - 03:19 AM.

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#19 ckent323

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 07:27 AM

Wallowa,

Did you factor in the additional weight for mounts and cables that go along with adding a second panel?  I think the weight of the Zamp panel is about 24 pounds but mounting hardware and a second set of cables for it plus Y adapters to use two panels will add to that and increase the total weight so my guess is the weight difference is going to be more than 6 pounds.

I presently have two 100 Watt panels and with cables and mounts they are close to 40 pounds total weight.  They are right at the minimum we need for the way we use the camper so I want to add another 100 W or so.   I am going to replace them with one panel.  I will use those 100 W panels on my cargo trailer to keep the battery for the winch and the electric brakes topped up plus I will have extra power for lights and maybe other goodies. 

I am presently looking at 360/370 watt LG, Panasonic, Sun Power and REC panels which can be purchased for under $300.  Not sure what trouble is encountered trying to use a residential type panel.  Heck there are single residential type panels  up to 400 W and I saw an announcement for a 500 W panel.  (based on our usage I think 360 W will be more than enough).  My guess is the residential panels probably don't come with a pigtail having MC-4 connectors so those would have to be added.

If not one of the 360 W residential panels then a 300W or 320 RV panel (Renogy or equivalent).

Craig


Edited by ckent323, 17 December 2020 - 07:04 PM.

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#20 Vic Harder

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 08:01 PM

Craig, my 330w panel is a "residential" panel.  It came with MC4 connectors.  My next panel will be 500W or more.  

 

The only technical consideration is having a big enough MPPT controller to handle the input.


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